A month-by-month overview of US apparel and shoe chains' sales results. Same-store sales figures help gauge how a specific retailer has performed, making this feature invaluable for evaluating your customers or competitors.
US consumer spending was hampered by international concerns, including a China slowdown and emerging market stress, currency devaluations, and extremely volatile equity markets in August. And although back-to-school spending picked up in the latter half of the month, the majority of clothing retailers reported comparable store sales declines.
July proved to be a difficult month for the apparel chains reporting monthly sales, with several hurt by tax holiday shifts in some southern states into August from July last year. As a result, retailers are not heading into the key back-to-school selling season with much momentum.
May was a mixed month for US apparel retailers, with suggestions the consumer was still not spending robustly outside of cars, smart phones, and home related categories. Despite the “sluggish” trading environment, the majority of clothing chains were able to book comparable store sales growth.
A shift in the timing of Easter, coupled with the lingering adverse effects of the West Coast port delays, as well as an economic soft patch in the first quarter, led to the majority of US apparel retailers recording comparable store sales declines in April.
While the earlier Easter this year helped the majority of US apparel retailers to book comparable store sales growth in March, adverse weather conditions, an economic soft patch during the first quarter, and lingering effects of the West Coast ports labour dispute weighed on overall results.
US apparel retailers reported mixed comparable store sales in February, as significant headwinds including extreme winter weather, additional costs and delays from the West Coast ports slowdown, foreign exchange rates and higher gas prices all weighed on results.
US apparel retailers got off to a good start in January, with the majority posting comparable store sales gains, helped by post holiday clearance sales and stronger comparisons with last year, when severe weather hampered results.
Deep discounts, lower fuel prices and an improved employment market all helped to drive better-than-expected comparable store sales gains for US apparel retailers in the crucial month of December.
Early Black Friday promotions, falling fuel prices, and labour market improvements all helped the majority of US apparel retailers to record better-than-expected comparable store sales growth in November.
October proved to be another mixed bag for US apparel retailers. While the majority reported comparable store sales gains thanks to an improving economy and strong consumer demand, others were impacted by warmer weather during the month.
As back-to-school shopping tailed off in the first part of September, so too did sales for many US apparel retailers. Negative surprises from the likes of Gap, outweighed better-than-expected results from retailers such as L Brands & Zumiez.
Against an improving economic backdrop and a highly promotional retail environment, back-to-school shopping helped to push comparable store sales up for most US apparel chains in August.
Aggressive promotions by US apparel retailers in August provided consumers with incentives to shop - leading to better-than-expected comparable store sales growth for the month. The focus is now turning to the upcoming back-to-school shopping season.
An improving employment picture, favourable weather for purchases of summer clothing, and heavy promotions fuelled better-than-expected sales for US apparel retailers in June - but analysts have warned that headwinds remain.
Improved weather coupled with a slew of promotions helped to drive traffic and sales gains for US apparel retailers in May - with analysts expecting the upward trend to continue into June.
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